1. May 24, 2011 at 9:34 am | permalink

    Any news on the “water features” near 7th – there seems to be a permanent sinkhole there, with publicly funded orange cone art. I thought I read something about stormwater management hardware (swirl concentrators?) that were not functioning properly.

  2. By George Hammond
    May 24, 2011 at 9:46 am | permalink

    There are an astounding number of toad tadpoles in the pond in West Park. Just amazing, thousands and thousands of them.

    Yesterday I saw Amy Kuras (city parks planner) and Mike Levine (co-owner of Nature & Nurture, LLC ) walking around in the park pointing and looking like they were planning plantings.

    Vivienne, yes, I read that too. I think there are two sets of concentrators (they trap sediment in stormwater) on the west side of the park, one each where the park meets Seventh. The northern ones failed last fall, and the the city and the contractor where disputing whose responsibility it is.

    The city’s Park Improvement page has some information: [link]
    West Park

    Major renovation of the park is nearly complete, including stormwater improvements, pathway construction, seat walls at the bandshell, basketball court replacement, parking lot renovations and landscaping. Some of the landscaping will be completed in the spring.
    There have been several issues with the underground storm system that was constructed as part of the renovation project. These are being addressed and will be resolved next construction season.
    The house on Chapin Street purchased by parks will be demolished this spring.
    The tennis court will be rebuilt in the spring, and work is underway to prepare construction drawings.
    The historic pergola as well as the planting and sitting area on Miller Ave will be renovated.

  3. By Matt Hampel
    May 24, 2011 at 9:49 am | permalink

    I’m hoping they take down the ugly orange fencing soon, too.

  4. By Julie
    May 24, 2011 at 9:59 am | permalink

    Matt, I was going to say the same thing — when is that fencing coming down?

  5. By Linda Diane Feldt
    May 24, 2011 at 10:14 am | permalink

    There is a “grand opening” of the park scheduled for June 19. I’m just guessing, but that would seem an obvious deadline for removing all the fencing. I assume more details about the event will be available as it gets closer. A quick google search didn’t help me find them.

  6. By Mary Morgan
    May 24, 2011 at 10:37 am | permalink

    Re. swirl concentrators: Eight swirl concentrators were installed as a part of the West Park project – four near the north Seventh Street entrance and four near the south entrance on Seventh. Craig Hupy, head of systems planning for the city, gave a report at the February 2011 meeting of the Ann Arbor park advisory commission. He told PAC that four of the eight swirl concentrators were in some state of failure, and that one of the four had experienced a catastrophic failure. The other four were also suspected to have problems. Here’s a link to The Chronicle’s report of that meeting, with more details: [link]

  7. By Mary Morgan
    May 24, 2011 at 11:06 am | permalink

    Re. West Park grand re-opening: Amy Kuras, the city’s park planner who managed this project, tells me the event on Sunday, June 19 will run from noon-4 p.m. and will include the Civic Band and other entertainment, interpretive walks, games, food vendors, and presentations. They plan to issue a press release about it soon – if you’re signed up for the city’s email alerts, info will likely be distributed that way as well.

    Re. the temporary fences: Kuras says they’ll be removed before the event.

  8. May 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm | permalink

    Photo of failed swirl concentrator, after it had been excavated: [photo]

  9. By Rod Johnson
    May 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm | permalink

    I think the bandshell has been served very poorly by this renovation. The seating walls are nice, but you can’t actually approach the stage anymore.

  10. May 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm | permalink

    Re: [9] It’ll be interesting to see how the bandshell fares as a performance venue. In early August, the Penny Seats will be staging a series of performances of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet). The major upside to that is that in early August there’ll be more local theater available than what’s offered in the Democratic primary elections for city council.

  11. May 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm | permalink

    Perhaps the Chronicle’s candidate debates could be at the bandshell this year. Maybe neighborhood children could have lemonade concessions and Water Hill musicians could warm up the crowd. Let politics be fun again!

  12. By John Floyd
    May 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm | permalink

    Lots of open pond water sounds like an invitation to mosquito infestation. Bet THAT will affect “how the bandshell fares as a performance venue”. (Ow! Slap)

  13. By MIchael McClatchey
    May 25, 2011 at 8:35 am | permalink

    Do you think they’ll ever allow free Sunday concerts in there again?

  14. By Alan Goldsmith
    May 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm | permalink

    I love this. I’m guessing current members of Council wouldn’t “ever allow” anything over 50dBs and you shouldn’t look forward to revisiting the days of the Dead and the MC5 anytime soon either. But if you want a fake tree statue or more swampland and botched project installs, they are totally on board.

  15. By kris
    May 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm | permalink

    i just read the term “swirl concentrator” for the first time 3 minutes ago but i think i could do a better job of constructing one than whoever built these based on the cited stats, and the image which makes it look as if the things were constructed of papier-mache. hope the city is fairly compensated. otherwise, love the new west park!

  16. By Marvin Face
    May 25, 2011 at 9:28 pm | permalink

    Kris, that’s what I was going to say. They make these things out of concrete and aluminum. I’ve seen them being installed and think they were Vortech or Contech. These look like low-budget units. You get what you pay for. Or, you pay for what you get.